Book of Revelation

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An 1880 Baxter process colour plate illustrating Revelation 22:17 by Joseph Martin Kronheim.

The Book of Revelation, which is sometimes called Revelation to John, Apocalypse of John, or Revelation of Jesus Christ is the last book of the New Testament in the Bible.

Title[change | change source]

The last book of the New Testament is usually called the Book of Revelation or simply Revelation. Some of the earliest manuscripts have the title of "The Revelation of John" (Ἀποκάλυψις Ἰωάννου). Later manuscripts usually have the title of "The Revelation of the Theologian" (Ἀποκάλυψις τοῦ Θεολόγου). This is why the Authorized King James Version calls Revelation the Revelation of Saint John the Divine (divine was a seventeenth century word for theologian.)

In Greek, the word apocalypse means revealing or unveiling.[1]

Introduction[change | change source]

Some people consider Revelation to be the most difficult book in the Bible. Over the course of the book the author has two visions. There are many different ways to interpret these visions, and there have been many arguments over which way is right. [2]

Authorship[change | change source]

There is some disagreement over whether the John who wrote the letters of John, the John who wrote The Gospel of John, and the John who wrote the Book of Revelation are the same person. The person writing Revelation called himself "John".[3] He also wrote that he was on Patmos, an island in the Aegean Sea, when he saw his first vision.[4]

Content[change | change source]

The book begins by introducing John as the author and has letters to seven churches of that day. Some think that these churches also represent periods of history. Various visions follow which are highly symbolic which allows many different interpretations. They have been understood by various groups to represent past and future events. Some believe that many of these prophecies have already been fulfilled. Others think they will be fulfilled at the end of time. Others think they affirm the victory of Christ over all enemies, but do not refer to specific events. Parts of the book seem to have used symbols and codes in order to hide their meaning from outsiders. This includes the mysterious "number of the beast" or 666. The book ends with a vision of the faithful souls in the next life rejoicing around the throne of God.

The book has been important to Christians in many places and times when they were suffering persecution. At those times, the persecuted persons found parts of the book that could have been referring to them. [5][6] Since some verses refer to the afterlife, they have traditionally been used at funerals.[7]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Nestle-Aland. Novum Testamentum Graece. 27th ed. Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Druck: 1996, p. 632.
  2. Greg, Steve. "Revelation, Four Views, Revised and updated", Thomas Nelson, 2012,ISBN: 1401676219 ISBN-13: 9781401676216
  3. Rev. 1:1, 4, 9; 22:8
  4. Rev 1:9; 4:1-2
  7. Rev. 21: 1-7